18 March 2010

Overweight Gordon and Quite Possibly, Gallstone Teodoro

Health is never a priority in this country.

Only 2 out of the 9 presidential candidates running for the May 10, 2010 election showed up at the much-publicized health forum sponsored by the Philippine College of Physicians  (PCP) last Tuesday evening inside the Medical City hospital.

Who showed up? Richard Gordon and Gilberto Teodoro.

Doctors were in the audience, and so, it was expected that they will ask about the two candidates' ailments and how fit they are for the top post of the land.

Gordon complained of sore throat that time. He said he is overweight from eating too much food, but had normal blood pressure."I’m not worried about anything right now. I’m a little overweight because of all the eating. When you’re campaigning they feed you everything." Gordon said. He added that his blood pressure was normal and that his only problem was his weight. - Yahoo! News I do not know if he got away with that kind of reasoning, but doctors know that the relationship between being overweight and blood pressure is linear, and exists throughout even the non-overweight range.  An added threat of diabetes also looms around.

In my opinion, Gordon should be worried about being overweight.

Also, to begin with, he did not become overweight because of campaigning. Even years ago, he looked overweight. He should stop blaming people from overfeeding him during campaign sorties. One can always say 'no' to people. But it seems delicious food is Gordon's waterloo.

Doctors should have followed up that question to Gordon --- "How overweight are you, Senator? What is your present weight?" That way, they would have found out if he was overweight or obese already.

It is already known that risk estimates from medical reviews suggest that approximately 75 and 65 percent of hypertension  in men and women, respectively, are directly attributable to an overweight condition and obesity.

Teodoro, on the other hand, was more honest about his health condition. "For his part, Teodoro said, "I had the good fortune of inheriting a lot of things from my parents, to include hypertension, and high blood sugar for which I take maintenance medicine every day. Aside from that, aside from a gall bladder that needs to be taken out as soon I have time, I’m okay." - Yahoo! News He readily admitted that he had inherited familial health problems like hypertension and diabetes. He said he was under maintenance medication, and he was doing this religiously.

Gilberto Teodoro was honest enough. But wait! He downplayed his gallbladder problem.

He said clearly that he had "a gallbladder that needs to be taken out," as soon as he had time for it.

I bet it was his doctor who suggested that. And it is an advice not heeded well. He said he'll do it once he had time for it. What is this?!? He makes it sound like it was some trivial appointment that can be postponed.

The most common reason for gallbladder removal or cholecystectomy, as surgeons call it, is gallstones. This operation is done when attempts to treat gallstones with ultrasound to shatter them, or medications to dissolve them have all proved to be unsuccessful.

If his doctor advised it, then it must be urgent. He could postpone it alright, but he is putting himself at risk. He is probably waiting for that 'gallbladder attack' when he will experience intense and excruciating upper abdominal pains before he has it removed. This campaign is, therefore, harmful to his health.

On the issue of curbing overpopulation and the use of condoms, Teodoro said yes, in addition to providing "funding for all modern and natural family planning methods, except abortion." Gordon said no, and insisted that "not a single peso from the national coffers will be spent to procure condoms and other birth control devices." Gordon will instead promote a limit on the number of children a family can have. Preferably only two, according to him. How he will be able to accomplish that without using birth control devices is still puzzling me.

It would have been a better discussion if the other candidates showed up, especially front runners like Aquino and Villar. But they were too busy, I guess. And as I said, health is never a priority in this country. Health becomes important only when they get sick, or a national epidemic is happening. Otherwise, there are far more important things they consider important.
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